Making decisions are a part of all of our lives. Each day we make a mulititude of decisions. Whenever the phone rings, I have to decide whether to answer it or not. If I’m in the middle of teaching or lecturing or preaching, of course, I won‘t answer the phone. However, when my mother was ill and if I got a call from South Carolina, I would have someone else answer it, even if I wasn’t able to do it.
In the same way, leaders must make hard decisions to do the right thing. Perhaps it’s not every day. It could be only once in a lifetime, but those decision could change the course of history.
A few years ago, during the Jewish Feast of Purim, I met an Iranian. A tall, handsome, young man born in Iran, he was a waiter at the hotel where we were attending a conference. We were interesting in the fact that he was celebrating the Jewish festival. ”Why are you celebrating Purim?” we asked him.
This is the feast celebrated to remember the deliverance of the Jewish people when they were in captivity in Pursia (modern-day Iran). ”Esther was Jewish,” we said.
“Yes,” he replied, “but she was OUR queen. This is also the first day of the Persian New Year.” Then he explained some of the differences that Esther made during her reign as queen. He claimed that though this was more than 2,400 years ago, her reforms have stood all these years. Even the dictatorship of the oppressive Muslim mullahs have not erased some of the reforms.
Esther was an unlikely, vibrant leader. However, she found her place and voice when she was forced to stand up for the right thing. Many of us know the story. Esther had been made queen because she won a beauty contest put on by the king of Persia, Xerxes. Her people, the Jews, had been carried off into captivity. They were an oppressed people.
Her uncle and foster father, Mordecai, instructed her to keep her heritage quiet and she obeyed. Then Mordecai angered an important kingdom official. The official, in turn, tricked the king to sign a law that mandated the slaughter of the entire Jewish nation.
Uncle Modecai wanted Esther to stand up against the law passed against the Jewish people. By all indications, Esther was shy and retiring. She was more than reticent to appear before the king. The Persian Law stated that if she appeared before the king and he snubbed her, she would be sentenced to death.
Mordecai told Esther that if she did nothing she would be killed, yet God would find another way to protect the nation. It appears that her appearance before the king was not a statement indicating her strength and faith in God but a feeble response to this threat issued by her uncle.
Esther asked that Mordecai and the Jewish nation fast and pray for her. Mordecai agreed. The result was that God saved the nation. Esther remained queen of Persia. She became a vibrant leader.
Apparently, God took a shy, submissive young woman; and He made her into a queen who would change the history of two nations. Most of us don’t believe that we are leaders. We do assume that there is not a thread of leadership material in our fiber. However, all of us are leaders somewhere.
Fathers and mothers are the leaders of one or more potential nations. ”The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is The Hand That Rules the World” is more than a poem by William Ross Wallace. It is the truth.
God put Esther in the right place at the right time. Sometime in your life, God will also put you in the unique position to altar the history of someone you love. Sure, God will give you encouragement, if you need it. He will teach you that your decisions are important.
Standing up for what is right could save many people. Or standing up for what is right may simple be the correct and godly thing to do. Esther was able to see what her good thing did. We are not always able to see how much we help others.
Additionally, by helping others and standing no matter what will help each of us to grow stronger.
Standing up for what is right maychange the life of many people or it may just help us to get stronger. Leadership may not always be visible until crisis brings it to the forefront. Then God allows true leaders to emerge and direct the action.